Kids Can Make: Play Dough

Here's a fun and easy project the whole family can work on together!

Related To:

Food Network Kitchen’s Kids Can Make Play Dough for "Kids Can Make", as seen on Food Network.

Photo by: Tara Donne

Tara Donne

Why continue to purchase Play Dough for your kids when you can make it at home using a handful of basic pantry ingredients? Our easy recipe yields 5 cups of dough in just 30 minutes — and it might come together even faster if the whole family pitches in! Let your little ones measure all the ingredients, and the older kids can help stir and cook the dough. Everyone can take a turn adding the food coloring at the end.

Here's what you'll need:

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups warm water
  • 1 cup kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 tablespoon cream of tartar
  • Assorted food coloring
  • Food-safe gloves

First, mix together the flour, water, salt, oil and cream of tartar in a large saucepan. Heat over low heat, stirring constantly, until the mixture thickens, begins to pull away from the sides of the saucepan and clumps in the center, about 5 minutes. Continue to cook, stirring, until the clumps form into a ball that darkens slightly in color and no longer looks wet, about 5 minutes more. Set aside until the play dough is cool enough to handle.

Next, turn the play dough out onto a clean cutting board and knead until very smooth, about 5 minutes. Divide into equal portions depending on the number of different colors you're making.

Now it's time to color each ball. Put on food-safe gloves, then add 5 drops of food coloring to the surface of a ball of dough and knead the food coloring into the dough until it is fully incorporated. Add more drops of food coloring to deepen the color if desired. Repeat with the remaining balls of dough (make sure to change your gloves or wash them in between each color).

It's as easy as that! For the freshest, longest-lasting play dough, be sure to store it in an airtight container at room temperature. This way, it will last for up to 2 weeks.

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